Storage on the Grid

There are three different sets of storage locations that are available for research work, depending on the particular usage patterns, size consideration, and number of people involved in the work. These are the home folders, project spaces, and scratch folders. Home and scratch folders are discussed in this document.

Home folders

By default, when your grid account is created (whether this account is used for just storage or storage + compute), a home folder is created as well. This is similar to the home folder on your laptop or desktop, but more like the home folder you may have on \\hbsfiles.

If you are logging in to the compute grid to do work via the NoMachine GUI or terminal, you are automatically placed in and are using this home folder. This is located at /export/home/<group>/<username>. For example faculty member John Harvard's home folder would be at /export/home/faculty/jharvard.

Home folders vary in size by the program or role that you have. When your space fills up, you will not be able to do any more work, which may lead to programs acting strangely or crashing altogether, disk error notices, or Input/Output errors. Keep an eye on your space usage; and see our notes below on working with spaces, folders, and files.

Home folders are backed up every night. If you should need to recover any files due to accidental deletion or corruption, please contact Research Computing Services (RCS).

In addition to home folders, project spaces are another location of disk storage space, and are described in the next section.

Scratch storage

Whether you are doing batch or interactive work, at times you may need a temporary location to stash files that you will not keep, or your software may require a 'working', or temporary, directory. In most cases, you should not use your home folder, as there are quota limits, and the temporary needs may exceed the amount available.

The storage location at /export/scratch is designed specifically for this purpose. Note: